Hair stylist Sagar Chavan’s parents thought their son was joking when the 20-year-old Parel resident told them that he had booked a chopper ride for the family to watch Ganpati immersions on Saturday.
On the final day of Ganeshotsav, the Juhu aerodrome will see many such Mumbaiites taking chopper rides for a bird’s eye view of the festivities.
Helicopter operators are offering 15-minute aerial trips along the Juhu beach at a cost lower than the usual rates.
“Bookings of aerial tours for the immersions have gone up to 70 from 40 last year. We are trying to get a few more slots to accommodate last minute queries,” said Ameya Gore, spokesperson, Airnetz Aviation, a private charter company in Vile Parle.
The company is charging Rs. 3,500 per person for a 15-minute ride.
Leo Air Charters, another company, said they have received 20% more bookings compared to last year. “Group bookings from corporate houses, families and even young groups of friends have booked tours this year. It seems the trend of visiting the beach would soon fade away,” said Nikesh Goswami, director, Leo Air Charters.
“Initially my parents were scared, but I have managed to convince them to take the ride,” said Sagar, who has never flown before.
This year the charter companies for the first time conducted such rides for the fifth-day immersions.